[Cat's Claw: an herb from the Peruvian Amazon]

Sidahora. 1995 Apr-May;35-6.
[Article in Spanish]


AIDS: Uncaria tomentosa, also known as cat's claw, an herb from the highlands of the Peruvian Amazon, has been used by natives for hundreds of years to treat immunologic and digestive disorders. Research began in the 1970s to discover the benefits of this plant in relieving symptoms of cancers, arthritis, and other ailments. It has the ability to cleanse the digestive tract, aiding victims of Crohn's, colitis, gastritis and more. In a 1989 study by Klaus Keplinger, several alkaloid oxidants found in the plant's roots showed an ability to stimulate the immune system. The principal alkaloids are isopteropodine and rynchophyiline. Extracts of cat's claw mixed with AZT in an experimental drug, called Krallendom, were effective in reducing symptoms in AIDS patients in Austria. The plant has been useful in reducing secondary effects of radiation and chemotherapy in cancer victims as well.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Newspaper Article

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / therapy
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Immune System Diseases / therapy*
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use


  • Alkaloids
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Zidovudine